Topper remakers slag the 1937 original film

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Dec 14, 2012, 3:54 PM EST

Jason Filardi, who wrote the script to a remake of the 1937 ghost comedy Topper, told a press conference that the original Cary Grant movie required major updating. The original movie told the story of a stuffy, stuck-in-his-ways man who is haunted by the ghosts of a fun-loving married couple. Steve Martin is attached to the new Topper as the title character.

"There's not much of a story to it, so we contemporized it," Filardi said Sunday in Beverly Hills, Calif., where he was promoting 17 Again. "Steve's character is a big marriage counselor."

Adam Shankman, who produced 17 Again and will direct Topper, brought the idea to Filardi "years ago, when we were doing Bringing Down the House together," Filardi continued. "That's one of [Shankman's] favorite movies."

Shankman took credit for bringing the remake to Martin's attention. He concurred with the writer, however, that his lifelong favorite did not hold up to modern viewing.

"It was [my favorite movie], except I watched it recently, and it's terrible," Shankman said, on the same press conference panel with Filardi. "My memory of the movie is so amazing, and then the actual movie is just nothing."

The new Topper is aiming for a 2010 release.